Incan quinoa protein may help manage weight as well as maintain overall health via its antioxidant properties.
Quinoa is a grain crop that contains edible, protein-rich seeds. It is occasionally supplemented as a protein, and may offer various health benefits:
- Supporting fat loss. Quinoa protein has been shown to lower triglyceride concentrations and help combat obesity.
- Promoting immunity. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of quinoa may help upkeep the body’s defenses.
Quinoa, Chenopodium quinoa, is a flowering plant and pseudocereal that is grown annually as a grain crop. It is closely related to several other common plants, including amaranth, spinach, and beetroot.
Originally from the Andean region of South America, quinoa was domesticated for human consumption thousands of years ago. It has been highly prized for being extremely nutritious — rich with vitamins, mineral, and dietary fibers, including vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Quinoa is included in numerous recipes because of its standing as a superfood.
Above all, quinoa seeds are valued for their substantial protein content and stock of saponins. Quinoa protein drawn from the seeds contains all nine essential amino acids and is thus considered a complete source of protein. It consists of 64% carbohydrates, 14% protein, 13% water, and 6% fat, although the content is altered after cooking.1
Quinoa Protein’s Beneficial Bioactivities
Quinoa contains antioxidants that protect cell membranes, which accordingly, can help lower the risk of developing disease and promote healthy neuronal function.2 The natural antioxidant capacity of quinoa protein seems to stem from its sizable content of saponins and the flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol.3
Quinoa protein has demonstrated a potential to lower triglyceride levels in no small part due to its packed quantity of 20-hydroxyecdysone.4 Animal research has additionally verified the ability of quinoa protein to improve lipid (fat) profile, although the exact mechanisms remain unknown.
A few studies have suggested that quinoa protein may help reduce inflammation throughout the body, though which inflammatory pathways it inhibits have not yet been identified.5
Quinoa Protein’s Reputation and Benefits
Quinoa has potential as a protein alternative for natural weight management. Besides being an excellent antioxidant, quinoa protein may benefit fat loss through a series of mechanisms, including: 6
- Reducing lipid (fat) storage
- Satiating appetite
- Cutting glucose absorption in the digestive system
- Challenging obesity risk factors
- Providing soluble fiber
- Increasing metabolism
All in all, quinoa consumption has been associated with decreased weight gain and cholesterol levels, as well an improved ability to respond to oxidative stress. Along those lines, it is commonly recommended for type II diabetics looking to stabilize their body weight and cholesterol levels. More on protein supplements.
Animal research indicates that quinoa protein may impart various health benefits:
- Protect against diet-induced obesity in mice7
- Reduce body weight gain, food intake, and fat deposition in rats8 9
- Minimize glucose absorption in piglets10
- Combat oxidative stress in rats11 12
- Regulate cholesterol levels in mice13
- Lower blood glucose levels in mice14
Clinical studies covering quinoa protein are limited in number.
Volunteers were given traditional bread, quinoa, gluten-free pasta, or gluten-free bread in this investigation. The glycemic index, which measures the impact of food on blood sugar levels, was lower for quinoa than any of the other sources of carbohydrate. Quinoa also induced decreased free fatty acid levels and triglyceride concentrations compared to the other options.
- The researchers concluded that “quinoa seems to represent a potential alternative to traditional foods, even if further and larger studies are required to demonstrate its hypoglycemic effects.”15
Quinoa Protein Dosage
- Clinical research studies have not yet identified ideal quinoa dosage.
- Typical quinoa serving sizes range from 30 – 45 g when taken whole.
- Suggested daily doses of quinoa in liquid form are approximately 970 mg.
- Quinoa seeds, raw or cooked
- Liquid extract
Supplements in Review Says
- Quinoa seed, 30 g daily.
Quinoa may be a good choice of protein for weight-conscious individuals. Quinoa protein is not only a nutritious source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but it also comes with the advantage of facilitating glycemic and cholesterol control. The potential health benefits of quinoa seem to assist weight loss and even reduce the likelihood of developing disease.
Start with 30 g of quinoa with meals. Quinoa may be easily integrated into meals as a full source of organic protein taken at regular serving sizes of roughly 30 grams.
- Ogungbenle HN. Nutritional evaluation and functional properties of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) flour. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2003;54(2):153-58. ↩
- Jung K, et al. The antioxidative power AP–A new quantitative time dependent (2D) parameter for the determination of the antioxidant capacity and reactivity of different plants. Spectrochim.Acta A Mol.Biomol.Spectrosc. 3-13-2006;63(4):846-50. ↩
- Vega-Gálvez A, et al. Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: a review. J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Dec;90(15):2541-7. ↩
- Berti C, et al. In vitro starch digestibility and in vivo glucose response of gluten-free foods and their gluten counterparts. Eur J Nutr 2004;43(4):198-204. ↩
- Tang Y, et al. Phytochemicals in quinoa and amaranth grains and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential health beneficial effects: a review. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jul;61(7). ↩
- Simnadis TG, et al. Physiological Effects Associated with Quinoa Consumption and Implications for Research Involving Humans: a Review. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2015 Sept;70(3):238-49. ↩
- Foucault A-S, et al. Quinoa extract enriched in 20-hydroxyecdysone protects mice from diet-induced obesity and modulates adipokines expression. Obesity. 2012;20(2):270-7. ↩
- Meneguetti QA, et al. Biological effects of hydrolyzed quinoa extract from seeds of Chenopodium quinoa Willd. J Med Food. 2011;14(6):653-7. ↩
- Mithila MV, et al. Effectual comparison of quinoa and amaranth supplemented diets in controlling appetite; a biochemical study in rats. J Food Sci Technol. 2015;1-7. ↩
- Carlson D, et al. Effects of quinoa hull meal on piglet performance and intestinal epithelial physiology. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr. 2012;96(2):198-205. ↩
- Pasko P, et al. Effect of diet supplemented with quinoa seeds on oxidative status in plasma and selected tissues of high fructose-fed rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010;65(2):146-51. ↩
- Pasko P, et al. Effect of quinoa seeds (Chenopodium quinoa) in diet on some biochemical parameters and essential elements in blood of high fructose-fed rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010;65(4):333-8 ↩
- Takao T, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of protein isolated from quinoa (Chenopodium quinoawilld.) seeds. Food Sci Technol Res. 2005;11(2):161-7. ↩
- Graf BL, et al. Quinoa seeds leach phytoecdysteroids and other compounds with anti-diabetic properties. Food Chem. 2014 Nov 15;163:178-85. ↩
- Berti C, et al. In vitro starch digestibility and in vivo glucose response of gluten-free foods and their gluten counterparts. Eur J Nutr. 2004 Aug;43(4):198-204. ↩
- Ruales J, et al. The nutritional quality of an infant food from quinoa and its effect on the plasma level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in undernourished children. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2002;53(2):143-54. ↩